LAS VEGAS — Poplar native Hunter Azure (9-2, 2-2 UFC) lost a split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27) to undefeated bantamweight Jack Shore (13-0) at UFC Vegas 23.
Azure struggled with the pressure of Shore who successfully converted six of 13 takedown attempts and held control for 5:17 of the match.
Shore lost the striking battle when the fight was on the feet, with Azure landing 86 of 136 strike attempts to just 51 total strikes from Shore. Azure also recorded 37 significant strikes to just 30 for Shore.
But Azure, a four-time high school wrestling state champion in Montana and former collegiate wrestler at MSU-Northern, failed to take down Shore in six attempts.
It was the first decision loss of Azure’s professional career.
Azure’s best chance for a finish came in the final seconds of the third round, where he seemed to have secured Shore in a tight rear naked choke position before Shore escaped shortly before time expired.
Azure falls to 2-2 in the UFC after earning a contract via Dana White’s Contender Series in 2019 and 9-2 overall.